By now it's become a cliche -- a newspaper story we can almost write before it's been written.
Who? Leading off with the most recent, Ariel Castro, Jerry Sandusky, Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Philip Garrido, Brian David Mitchell, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, David Berkowitz, Lee Boyd Malvo, Andrew Cunanane, Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wuornos, Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Albert DeSalvo, John Wayne Gacy, Henry Lee Lucas, Dennis Rader, Richard Ramirez, Joseph Kallinger, Ted Kaczynski, Gary Ridgway, Joel Rifkin, Danny Rolling, Charles Manson.
And so many more...too many to count.
What? Murder, of course. Not always in the physical sense -- Castro's victims survived, as did Garrido's, Sandusky's and Mitchell's -- sometimes attempted murder of the soul. Notoriety. Outrage. The Stuff of Nightmares.
When? All throughout history, but particularly in the last 60 years. With the exception of Gein, all of the above attained their notoriety during my lifetime, i.e. the last 55 years.
Where? All across this glorious, diverse country -- though, notably, the majority came out of the more sparsely populated suburbs or countryside.
How? The details are horrific, but not especially important.
Why? We don't really know. That's the detail that underlies our morbid fascination -- their only true legacy.